I experienced the blessing of a group of encouraging and prayerful friends the other day. We were telling our “God Stories” and for some reason I was compelled to tell more of my ugly past and the beautifully redeemed story of my life then I usually share. God has a way of doing that. The story was met with love and encouragement to continue to tell others about the many ways in which God has transformed my life. There was no shame or recrimination in the process- just grace and exuberance for how God might use what he has done and how he might use me. I left feeling loved and lighthearted.
Sharing how God has worked wonders in our life is an important part of the Christian journey. However, there are times my transformation story has led those listening to judge me based on my past and miss the healing part of the story. Other times some listeners have thought I was whining and making excuses for past behavior while misunderstanding that I am bragging about God’s grace for which I did nothing to deserve. In the process of story telling, It has made me be careful who I tell what; to be more discerning in sharing.
As I walk this new life in which God has given me I have met many women who are striving to be healed and to live joyful fulfilling lives. They are burdened with pain and disappointment and held back by shame or a pattern of rejection and abandonment. They are dealing with that voice that says “you are worthless” or “you aren’t worthy of xyz.” They are afraid to talk about their pain. They are so afraid of what someone will say about their past that they miss the blessing of the grace I experienced that Saturday morning.
As women we need to be listeners and encouragers. We need to be prayers who speak love to the wounded. We need to celebrate transformations. We need to bring hope to the hopeless, love to the unloved, and friendship to the friendless. Some days we simply need to sit next to other women so they know they are not alone. We need to love the widow, the divorced, and the single in a way that demonstrates empathy and kindness without judgment. We just need to love in a Jesus way, with all our heart. (Matthew 22)
Be the grace-giver, the friend-giver, the hope-giver. The Spirit-filler, and the humbled friend. Because it is a humbling experience to hear the story of all the mess God has taken from someone and the new person he has set in front of us. Tell your story that others can hear about God’s amazing grace for a sinner like us.
Mark 5:19 “And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”